Tucson – Vacations, Jobs and Retirement

Tucson – Vacations, Jobs and Retirement

Interest in Tucson vacation bookings is on the rise again, now that we’re getting into the tail-end of summer.  And why wouldn’t it when people all over hear about the good things happening here and seeing images like the one above?  The thing is, people aren’t only coming for vacations these days… they’re coming for good jobs as well as what we’ve known for a long time; that Tucson is a great place to retire.  In fact, it was recently ranked quite high on the best places to retire (which should come as no surprise to those of us who already know and love the Old Pueblo)

Vacation rental homes near the best golf in ArizonaWalletHub: Tucson one of best places to retire

WalletHub on Monday released its list of best/worst cities to retire. The ranking charts 150 American cities across four main metrics — affordability, availability of recreational activities, quality of life and health care.

Scottsdale was No. 3 overall, the highest-ranked for any Arizona city. Scottsdale also had the highest percentage of residents over 65 years old (21.1 percent) and was fourth on the “mild weather” factor.

Tucson was No. 20 overall and the Old Pueblo got high marks for available activities and quality of life.

Tempe was ranked 32nd and was followed by Phoenix (No. 41), Mesa (No.42), Peoria (No. 50), Chandler (No. 57), Glendale (No. 62), Gilbert (No. 71), read more at

But not only for retirement… Tucson is bringing in some really good, highly skilled, high paying jobs leading to a new (niche) term for our area – “Optics Valley”

Arizona Technology Council and AOIA forge partnership a move to boost their ongoing efforts to grow the science and technology sectors of Arizona’s economy and increase the number of high-paying jobs in the state, the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Optics Industry Association (AOIA) Monday announced the two organizations have signed a collaborative agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Council will form an Arizona Optics Industry Committee to advocate for and promote the interests of the industry by holding optics-focused events and helping to influence legislative policy positions at the local, state and federal levels. The committee will develop a roadmap for the optics industry sector in Arizona and use the Council’s established leadership and infrastructure to address critical issues.

Tucson is home to one of the world’s largest clusters of optics companies, earning the region the name “Optics Valley.” Part of the reason companies choose to make Tucson their home is the world-renowned College of Optical Sciences at The University of Arizona. read more at

With so many great things about our area, it’s really no surprise that business here at SunTree Corporate Housing is booming.  If you or anyone you need is in need of any kind of short term furnished rental here in Tucson, whether it’s for a job relocation, an extended stay vacation rental home, or simply transitioning between home (or having renovations done to your current home), call us and we’ll find you the perfect place to stay, making you feel right at home.

Tucson Grooves on Bacon, Brews and Blues

OK Tucson, it’s Friday afternoon… do you know what you’re doing this weekend?  No matter how you answered that question, we have a strong suggestion for you – check out the Tucson Bacon, Blues & Brews on Saturday being hosted by Brother John’s and the great, local Tucson food group, Tucson Originals.

Tucson Originals & Brother John’s Host Bacon, Blues, & Brews August 13 Originals, the well-known organization of many locally owned restaurants throughout Tucson, is teaming with Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ to host Bacon, Blues, & Brews.

The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, August 13 at Brother John’s, 1801 N. Stone Avenue.

As you can imagine, the event will feature everything bacon related, a blues band, and of course, beer.

Tickets are currently on sale for $20 per person. read more at

Now if you happen to be a vegetarian, a teetotaler, or the blues just isn’t you’re groove… that’s OK, we’ll still talk to you ;0)

Not only that, but we’ll even give you some other options for things to do around the Old Pueblo over the weekend and beyond.  Hey, we’re equal opportunity Tucson lovers / share-ers (I don’t think that’s a real word, but we’ll “share” it with you anyway!)

32 Things To Do in Tucson in the Next Seven Days of the Mermaids: Celebrate the monsoon with this annual festival and parade. Dress up and join the mermaids as they make their way through 4th Avenue and Downtown Tucson. Families are welcome at this multi-venue event, but mermaids are known to get “a little racier” as the evening goes on, so parental discretion is advised. Follow the link for details on where to find your favorite under the sea activities, including: the mermaid pageant, the kids costume contest, a dinglehopper workshop, and the SURFBROADS. Noon-2 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.

The Princess Bride: Is there a better way to come down from a stressful week of work than watching a classically charming movie? Inconceivable! Join the good folks at the Loft for an evening of battling Rodents of Unusual Size, humiliations galore and, of course, popcorn. Showings: 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12-13, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. $6, $5 for Loft members. The Loft also brings you John Water’s legendary Multiple Maniacs starting Friday, Aug. 12. Mondo Monday will feature Ghost Town (also shot at Old Tucson Studios) on Monday, Aug. 15.  . read more at

Personally speaking, I think The Princess Bride is one of the greatest movies of all time, whether you’re a kid or an adult. If you (or your kids) haven’t seen it, definitely keep this in mind.  Or, if you HAVE seen it and you don’t agree, that’s fine to.  But why not share your choice of the best movie for both adults and kids to watch together?

Whatever you decide, we hope you have a fantastic weekend Tucson!


Good News and Good Things for Tucson

As we’ve mentioned before here in our blog, we love pets.  That’s why we offer a good choice of pet friendly rentals for you, our clients, to choose from.  So in the spirit of pets and doing what’s best for them, we wanted to share some important news that we hope others will appreciate as much as we do.

Looking for a New Pet? Forgo the Puppy Mills at ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’

adopt rescued animals in Tucson“Adopt, Don’t Shop” day also marks the effective date of Arizona’s harmful pro-puppy mill law, SB 1248. The law will prohibit cities, towns and counties from enacting ordinances banning the sale of commercially raised dogs and cats in pet stores and will void ordinances in Phoenix and Tempe. Due to the law, a draft pet store ordinance in Tucson that was pending the outcome of a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix will no longer take effect.

The public can avoid supporting cruel puppy mills by never buying a puppy in a pet store. Most pet store puppies come from commercial breeding facilities that force animals to spend their entire breeding lives in cramped wire cages, to have minimal food and water, to be exposed to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods of time, and to be given only minimal veterinary, dental care and grooming. Other pet stores who sell dogs and cats sourced locally are likely paying unlicensed “back-yard” breeders to produce popular breeds so that they have stock year round. These puppies and kittens leave the stores unaltered, unlike shelter-sourced animals, which must be altered before leaving. This practice contributes to the homeless pet issue and the costs to taxpayers and rescues. read more at

Personally, with a house full of rescue animals (currently and temporarily 5 dogs, 3 cats and a tortoise), our family can 100% vouch for the fact that these are great animals.  And we know there are just so many more of them waiting and hoping to be adopted at our local shelters (the Humane Society and Pima Animal Care Center – “the pound”).  There’s no need to encourage more breeding, leading to fewer existing pets finding good homes.  We hope you’ll agree.

Speaking of homes, Tucson has had some good news in that department too recently!

Tucson housing market is looking up by better-than-expected job growth, falling foreclosures and rising new-home sales, the first half of 2016 produced a long-unseen stability in the local housing market.

And while no one is ready to uncork any champagne, industry observers say the improvement in the first six months of this year is cause for cautious optimism.

“You can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Eric Gibbs, president of the Tucson Association of Realtors. “You can almost touch the end of the tunnel.”

In the first six months of the year, 1,051 permits for new homes were issued — an increase of more than 25 percent compared to the first half of 2015, when 892 permits were issued.

Foreclosures were down to 937 in the first half of 2016, the lowest level since 2007. It’s a major drop from the peak year of 2011, when 4,001 homes were foreclosed in the first six months, data from the Pima County Recorder’s Office show. read more at

Even during these typically slower summer months, we here at SunTree have been keeping busy with furnished rentals for a variety of different customers.  While no one is coming “just to vacation and soak in the heat”, the amount of activity we’re seeing during these hot months tends to suggest that our high season will be on pace to bring in significant visitors. It all bodes pretty well for Tucson overall, we think.

What do you think Tucson?  Are you generally feeling like we’re “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?”  Granted, we’re about to head into high gear in the political season with a most unusual and contentious race that has people on both sides feeling rather bleak and dark about the prospects of “the other side” winning.  But that aside, we feel that Tucson is in a pretty good place these days.

Images from,

How Cool is Tucson Now?

OK, we’ve been dealing with a lot of heat here in Tucson lately.  But let me ask you this… how cool is Tucson now?!?!

What makes Tucson so cool?  How about because the University of Arizona recently discovered a new planet that is orbiting THREE suns!  Holy cow Batman… seriously, how cool of a discovery is that?

Newly discovered planet has three suns you thought Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine, in the Star Wars saga, was a strange world with its two suns in the sky, imagine this: a planet where you’d either experience constant daylight or enjoy triple sunrises and sunsets each day, depending on the seasons, which happen to last longer than human lifetimes.

Such a world has been discovered by a team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, using direct imaging. The planet, HD 131399Ab, is unlike any other known world — on by far the widest known orbit within a multi-star system. The discovery is published online by the journal Science. read more at

Yeah, that’s pretty cool alright!

You know what else is cool?  Having some top notch law enforcement right here amongst us in the FBI (among other agencies and departments).  Our hats go off to them for them for their great work in a very troubling case that could have made even more of the horrible headlines we’ve all seen all too much of lately.

Arizona teen accused of threatening terror attacks in Tucson, Phoenix Arizona man was arrested Friday and accused of conspiring to commit terror attacks in Phoenix and Tucson, federal and state officials said.

Mahin Khan, 18, of Tucson, appeared before a Phoenix judge Saturday morning, according to the state attorney general’s office. He faces two counts of of conspiracy to commit terrorism and terrorism.

Khan was ordered held without bond in the Maricopa County jail.

Arizona Attorney General spokeswoman Mia Garcia told reporters Khan was accused of conspiring to carry out attacks on government buildings. read more at

OK, on a far less grim note, for those looking for something to enjoy and cool off with, here’s something to whet your whistle both literally and figuratively:

Summer Cocktail Camp is Back for Seven Sundays Starting July 17 your host or hostess game includes making drinks that are one part bottom-shelf vodka, one part Refreshe seltzer water, or simply handing someone a beer, then it may be time to up your game. Luckily, Summer Cocktail Camp is hitting seven metro Phoenix mixologists at their home turfs starting July 17, offering two-hour classes on how to make the best craft cocktails in town.

The third annual Summer Cocktail Camp will go down every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. until August 28 and will be held at seven different bars and restaurants around town. Participants will grab tickets, find a seat at places including Jade Bar or the Clever Koi, and partake in a cocktail-making class featuring never-before-revealed cocktail recipes. Then, it’s bottoms up. read more at

So now go on out there and be cool, y’all!

Images from,,

For the Love of Dogs and Tucson

I understand it can be a contentious issue, but with many people close to me devoting a lot of time to animals, and especially dogs, around Tucson through “the pound” (Pima Animal Care Center or PACC). the following news story was one that I had been hearing about for quite some time.  Now, the time has arrived.

Tucson Greyhound Park hosts its final live dog race, AZ – Tucson Greyhound Park has hosted its final live dog race.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the park held its last race Saturday evening and it came weeks after Gov. Doug Ducey signed bills ending live dog racing in Arizona.

Officials say racing dogs will leave within days for their next venture, be it a greyhound rescue group or another, out-of-state racing venue. read more at

Speaking of dogs, for those of you with sound or storm sensitive dogs like we have, depending on where you were in Tucson last night, you had your hands full!  The storm that came through our area was wickedly intense for about 10 minutes, knocking out power for a while… stronger than any monsoon I can remember experiencing.  When it was finished tormenting our dogs, we went out to have a look and sure enough, we found multiple large mesquites blown over and lots of shaken home owners.  Did you experience a strong storm in your part of town?

Monsoon 2016 strikes Tucson with severe thunderstorm

TUCSON – Severe thunderstorm rips through Tucson with damaging winds and heavy rain.

For many Tucsonans it was the first taste of Monsoon 2016 as strong storms worked through the Old Pueblo. Wind gusts up to 60mph, knocked down power lines near River and Campbell causing outages across midtown. Lightning was also the cause of a house fire near 22nd and Kolb.

Several rain gauges across Tucson picked up more than 0.50″ of rain in less 15 minutes causing the washes to rise and streets to flood. A Flood Advisory will remain in effect for much of the metro through 9:30pm Sunday night. read more at

If this is just the start of what’s to come this summer, between the crazy heat we had recently and now this crazy powerful storm… we’re in for quite a summer to remember.  Buckle up tight, Tucson!

Images from,

Tucson Apartments May Be Small – But Not Ours

So the word on the street is that Tucson has the nation’s smallest apartments (at least in larger cities), according to  While we’re not arguing their findings, and actually find them rather interesting, we can say with certainty that our furnished rental apartments are not tiny.  But if that’s your thing… call us and we’ll see what we can do for you there as well.

Surprise: Cities With the Biggest—and Smallest—Apartments an age where soaring housing prices and the urge to downsize are giving juice to the tiny-house movement, it isn’t surprising that rental units across the U.S. are getting even smaller. Maybe it’s a sign to finally purge those dusty shoes and record collections taking up valuable space?

The average size of a brand-new apartment is 8% smaller this year, at 934 square feet, than it was in 2006, according to a recent report from

The report from the rental website looked only at studios and one- and two-bedroom rentals in buildings with more than 50 units in the largest 100 cities.

The smallest units overall are in Tucson, AZ, a city not far from the Mexican border. Studios are a mere 398 square feet, while one-bedrooms are a cramped 595 square feet and two-bedrooms are just 907 square feet. read more at

For those who happen to find themselves in tiny apartments with not much extra space, or anyone just looking to get out of the house and not spend a bunch of money, we have good news for you (as long as you can take the heat…)  Free movies in the park is back!

‘Movies in the Park’ is a free, family event (KGUN9-TV) – Looking for something fun to do with the family this summer? How about a free movie screening on a 40-foot screen?

The movies will be shown at dusk at the Reid Park Demeester Performing Arts Pavilion located at 920 S Concert Place.

The screenings are free and open to the public. Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy the movie. read more at

The heat though… that’s NOT something to joke about or take lightly.  This is especially true for our out of town guests who may not be aware of how hot it really is around here.  Or who think the old adage of “but it’s a dry heat” means it’s not so bad or not so dangerous.  This is simply not the case as we’ve so tragically learned this past week.

Missing German hiker found dead in Tucson; weekend heat toll rises to 6 missing German hiker was found dead Tuesday morning, Pima County authorities said, the second of three in his hiking group to perish in Sunday’s record heat.

His death brings this weekend’s heat-related death toll in Arizona to six.

Marcus Turowski, 33, was found dead west of Ventana Trail 98 at about 7 a.m. Tuesday after a two-day search. read more at

Please folks, be careful out there.

Graduation Time in Tucson

Graduation Time in Tucson

A couple of things we can count on this time of year around Tucson.  The weather gets hot and we have a lot to be proud of as there is a whole new slew of graduates at all kinds of levels of education.

What isn’t always the case however, is temperatures that are this hot, this soon (or necessarily at all, to be honest).  We hope that everyone is paying attention to the heat warnings and taking care of themselves and their pets.

Another thing that doesn’t happen every day is hearing a truly memorable graduation speech, especially coming directly from an 8th grader that involves current politics and can make you laugh no matter what side of the aisle you favor!  And while this particular student isn’t from Arizona, it’s probably worth 8 monutes of your time.

Watch this 8th-grader’s hilarious impersonations of Trump, Obama and Clinton Aiello is an 8th-grader who has long been obsessed with politics. He sometimes turns on old presidential debates — like the ones from years before he was born — while he finishes his homework. He’s also a gifted performer with a knack for impressions.

So it was natural for him to turn to his two favorite subjects as he wrote a speech for his graduation ceremony from Thomas Middle School in the Chicago area. He performed rollicking and uncannily accurate renditions of stump speeches in the style of the major candidates for president. read more at

Just a little something to help keep the mood light while we wait for this crazy heatwave to break…

Blistering temperatures causes death, injury in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Triple-digit temperatures are sweeping parts of the Southwest this weekend and leading some people in Arizona to fall ill from the sweltering heat.

The National Weather Service says the mercury quickly rose Sunday morning, with some areas of metropolitan Phoenix reaching 110 before noon. Forecasters say the city could see a high of up to 120, approaching the record of 122.

Tuesday’s Tucson Forecast: Brutal heat wave coming

Tuesday’s Tucson Forecast: Brutal heat wave coming

We love Tucson.  We’ve been here a long time and know of the many reasons it’s a great place to live.  Now it seems that we have

Tucson named most affordable city in U.S.

Inc. magazine recommends Tucson as a great place to start a new company, naming it the number one most affordable city in the country.

“The city’s long history as a military center has led to the development of a local high-tech industry, and biotech, especially when it comes to optics,” the article states. “In fact, the area has been nicknamed ‘Optics Valley’.” Read more…

But like everything good, there is a price to pay at some point, right?  And it seems that we’re getting ready to have to pay that price this weekend with record heat on the way for Tucson and Phoenix.  If we actually do hit 117 degrees here in the Old Pueblo, I guess the only thing we can be grateful for is that we’re not in Phoenix! 😉  (sorry Phoenix! We love you, but we just don’t want to be you when it’s even hotter than it is here!)  Mt. Lemmon, here we come!

Phoenix could hit 120 degrees this weekend. Is a ‘dry heat’ really better? excessive heat watch is in effect for more than 110,000 square miles of the Southwest, including Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas. High temperatures are expected to reach 105 to 110 degrees on Friday and 110 to 115 degrees on Saturday and climb toward 120 degrees on Sunday and Monday.

Forecast models are suggesting that 500 millibar heights could reach 6,000 meters this weekend and that 850 millibar temperatures will rise into 99 degrees. What does that mean? It means that it’s going to be oppressively hot in Arizona and that records are likely to fall. The model forecast “would be at historic levels,” said the Weather Service, “rivaling the June 1990 heat wave.”

So, what do we do when it’s THIS hot out?  Wait ’til the sun goes down of course!  If you’re looking for something to do this weekend when it’s a “bit” cooler out, here’s an idea for you:

TUCSON WEEKENDER: Fun things to do in the Old Pueblo (June 17-19)


Every year, for just one night only, Tohono Chul Park invites the public to experience the annual blooming of the “Queen of the Night.”

All of the gorgeous flowers bloom at the same time, and by the next morning, they’re gone.

“Queen of the night” getting ready to bloom at @TohonoChulPark >>>

The park stays open the night of the bloom until midnight, though blooming usually happens between 5 and 8 p.m.

The park hasn’t announced the bloom just yet, however. It could be today, it could be tomorrow…

Park staff will announce when it will happen HERE: read more at


Tucson Pulls Together with Spirit

Why does this keep happening?!?!  Senseless shootings…  Tucson, regrettably, has had it’s own moment in this spotlight, and now it’s Orlando.  I won’t say it’s their “turn”, because the thought of everyone, even just one more city, getting a “turn” at being in the spotlight for such senseless hate is not what any sane person wants.

Not surprisingly, Tucsonans turned out to support victims, friends and families of the shooting in Orlando, hoping beyond hope that prayers and positive, peaceful thoughts will reach across the country, and around the world.  Sadly, there’s really not much more than this that can be done right at this moment…

Tucsonans honor Orlando shooting victims at 4th Avenue vigil glow from a candle lights the face of Thomas Phelan as he holds a cup that shields it from blowing out before the start of a vigil in front of IBT’s on North Fourth Avenue in Tucson on Sunday, June 12, 2016 to mark the Florida nightclub shooting where a gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 more.

Marchers walk a short distance to a vigil on North 4th Avenue in Tucson on Sunday, June 12, 2016 to mark the Florida nightclub shooting. It is the worst mass shooting in US history and it targeted members of the LGBT community. The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation hosted the event.

More than 700 Tucsonans stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the desert heat in a Fourth Avenue parking lot on Sunday night to remember the dozens of victims of the Orlando mass shooting. Via

While these kinds of happenings can never be predicted and we can only hope they happen less frequently, it wasn’t long ago that there was an entirely different kind of surprise to report here in Tucson…

NASA: Object in AZ sky likely an asteroid said the light seen in the Arizona sky early Thursday morning, June 2, was likely an asteroid.

Shortly after 4 a.m., KOLD News 13 was bombarded with calls and emails about an object lighting up the sky.

The small asteroid was around 10 feet and weighed tens of tons. NASA estimated it was moving 40,200 miles per hour.

“There are no reports of any damage or injuries – just a lot of light and few sonic booms,” Bill Cooke, NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, told KPHO. “If Doppler radar is any indication, there are almost certainly meteorites scattered on the ground north of Tucson.”

If things were just reversed a bit – the bright light in the sky was going UPwards, and it happend AFTER the Orlando incident, I would have an explanation that may not be accepted by scientists, but things would sit a whole lot better within me.  Sometimes you just need to imagine to shed some light on an otherwise dark situation.

Images from,

Traveling Tips for the Summer

Sure, there aren’t a lot of visitors coming to Tucson during the summer like we at SunTree like to see most of the rest of the year, but there are lots of people from Tucson with travel plans. So we thought it would be wise to share a few tips and information from some great resources we’ve come across recently.

Travel Advice, Zika update summer approaches and the weather warms up, the Zika virus is spreading. Dozens of countries have now reported incidences of the virus. It is in almost all South American countries, South Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico and Cape Verde Islands.

It is expected it will have arrived in southern parts of the United States by the end of the summer. As there is no vaccine yet for the Zika virus, the only positive thing to do is try not to be bitten. read more at

With another dreaded virus to be concerned with, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t still plan a great summer vacation.  Plus, there are plenty of good deals to be had out there (if you DO want to come and “soak up some heat” in Arizona, just let us know!)  But not just here in Tucson and Phoenix… there are lots of other places offering great deals too, as this story from ABC News points out.

Off-Season Picks for Cheap Summer Getaways – ABC News trip to the shore or amusement park may be the quintessential summer vacation, but those popular choices can be expensive, crowded, and a lot less fun in reality than one’s imagination. For travelers open to counterintuitive thinking, there are amazing off-season vacation picks around the world. Sometimes a location is cheap because the summer months aren’t known for having optimal weather. In other instances, a destination, like Utah, may stereotypically be associated with the winter even though it makes for a great summer getaway as well. But careful planning can make for beautiful scenery and great memories — the bargains are just a bonus. Here, nine of our favorites.

Skiers flock to Colorado in the winter, but the mountains are breathtaking and temperate in the warmer months. Colorado Springs, a 90-minute drive south of Denver, has plenty of hotel deals and family-friendly activities. The gravity-defying rock formations of the Garden of the Gods make it one of the most-visited parks in the United States; the Olympic Training Center, which offers free tours, is inspiring; and the Dinosaur Experience, a museum that gives visitors a chance to interact with real dinosaur fossils and animatronic recreations, recently opened in nearby Royal Gorge. read more at



I can tell you from personal experience, if you haven’t been to Colorado recently, you’re really missing out.  And considering we’re rubbing elbows with the state here in Arizona, it’s a great destination that’s still pretty easy to get to by car or plane.  We hope to be up there this summer to see some of the great folks who escaped some of the snow last winter and came down and stayed with us in some of our furnished rentals and got in some golf.  Now it’s our turn!

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